Arsenal are pursuing a move for James Maddison, according to reports…
What’s the word?
The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg and Fabrizio Romano claim that the Gunners are on the hunt to add creativity to Mikel Arteta’s squad and the Leicester City attacking midfielder has emerged as a key target.
Arsenal have already spent £73m this window and may have to offload some more players before being able to fund a move for the 24-year-old, who still has three years to run on his current £110k-per-week contract.
It’s thought that the Foxes will demand in the region of £60m for his signature, though Maddison himself is believed to be keen on a switch to the Emirates Stadium.
Better than Odegaard?
For now, Arsenal’s chances of sealing a return for Martin Odegaard seem slim after the Danish playmaker returned to parent club Real Madrid during the off-season.
Romano believes the North London giants “will be ready” if his situation changes as “Arteta loves the player”, although the club may want to fully turn their attention onto Maddison instead.
Despite being hampered by injuries throughout the 2020/21 season, the England international still emerged as one of Brendan Rodgers’ biggest outlets for goals.
As per Transfermarkt, Maddison provided 11 goals and ten assists across all competitions, which was more than every single Arsenal midfielder combined and the sorts of figures one might expect from an Aaron Ramsey or Mesut Ozil in their prime.
In the Premier League and Europa League alone, the 24-year-old midfielder averaged 1.7 key passes per game, which was 0.3 higher than Arteta’s two creative options, Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe, via WhoScored.
It’s no wonder that the £49.5m-rated sensation has been described as a “special talent” by The Times’ Henry Winter and as “absolutely excellent” by ex-Leicester man Steve Howey during an exclusive interview with Football FanCast.
On the above evidence, Maddison is clear of Odegaard, based on his relatively short time in the English top-flight, so Edu Gaspar must look to urge KSE to sanction a move for him before this month’s transfer deadline.
If Arteta is to get that creative midfielder, then it’s time to act now.